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Re: CHAT: Qipchaq as a lingua franca?

From:Danny Wier <dawiertx@...>
Date:Thursday, June 10, 2004, 22:35
From: "Joseph Fatula" <fatula3@...>

> This is sort of what I'm getting at above. The three Q's (Qazaq, Qârghâz, > and Qaraqalpaq*) are all basically dialects of the same West Turkic > continuum. In Stalin's day, there was an intentional Soviet effort to > define these as different groups, including intentionally using different > orthographies for the various dialects.
I think we have a continuum of dialects where the two extremes can't understand each other but both can understand one in the middle (Italian being a famous example). According to the Ethnologue, the three Q's and Nogai belong to the Aralo-Caspian branch of Western Turkic; the other two branches are Ponto-Caspian (which includes Karachay-Balkar, spoken in the North Caucasus) and Uralian (which includes Tatar and Bashkir, which are almost the same language from what I understand). Qipchaq could serve Aralo-Caspian Turks quite well. So de-Stalinization still continues today. Wonder how this might affect other languages in the former USSR, including Uralic and North Caucasian.
> This I certainly didn't hear anything about. Romanization seems to be the > nationalist position as far as writing systems are concerned. Most > nationalist effort in Kazakstan seems to be Kazak or Pan-Turkic, rather
> Pan-Islamic, so the former Arabic-based system isn't even an option being > suggested.
Central Asian Turkistan is highly secularized, probably even more than Turkey. Most who identify themselves as Muslims are only nominal in religious practice, and Islamic parties are banned in Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan is run by a dictator-cum-cultist in the style of Kim of North Korea, Saparmurat Niyazov, who has his own 'holy' book, Ruhnama ('spiritual book'). And the legacy of Atatürk still lives on both inside and outside of Turkey-Anatolia. Azerbaijan is Shi'a with a strong historical and cultural link to Iran, so it's different there. I still wonder why Latin. Arabic obviously is ill-suited to Turkic languages because of its poverty of vowels, and Cyrillic represents Soviet domination. Latin is what Ataturk chose, as he embraced a lot of Western ideas (the modern secular republican form of government especially), and Latin didn't take much modification to fit Turkish phonology... but Central Asia isn't the West. There might be a move away from Latin if American-Western hegemony continues to extend, or if there's an Islamic revival (both happen in my futuristic scenario). Or maybe not.
> If anyone wants to hear more about the ethnic/linguistic situation in > Kazakstan, let me know. I'm always glad to blabber on about stuff like > this.
Sure, I'm interested. I need to study the history of the Seljuks and Ottomans.